TravelPlus delve inside those exclusive First and Business Class Amenity bags to discover just how Airlines are indulging their discerning female passengers onboard.
Current regulations limiting what can and can’t be in hand luggage, particularly the 100ml restriction applying to all liquids, including creams, lotions, and perfumes, can make it difficult for a female passenger to ensure she has all she would need to feel totally comfortable whilst on board.
Have Airlines identified this opportunity, and provided their First and Business Class female passengers with an amenity kit packed with a range of cosmetics that will enhance their onboard experience?
With the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards now in its 5th year, we have decided to delve inside the exclusive First and Business Class designer bags to explore how Airlines are indulging their discerning female passengers, and take an in depth look at the cosmetics they supply.
The majority of bags in First and Business class have been designed on behalf of the Airline by some of the world’s top designers, including Kate Spade, Viktor & Rolf, Ray Eames, Christian Dior, Swarovski, and Rimowa. This has made them highly collectable, with many finding their way onto the global marketplace, Ebay, where an unopened Rimowa amenity kit can currently fetch upwards of $200.
Upon opening the bags and delving inside it is apparent that there is a recurring theme, with the majority of airlines aligning themselves with the world most prestigious cosmetic and skincare brands such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Bvlgari, L’Occitane, Amouage, La Prairie and Kiehls.
However, taking a closer look at the lotions and creams that are included, it soon becomes apparent that there is very little to differentiate between them. Common items included within the kits are Hand and Body lotion, facial moisturiser, eye gel, and lip balm. It was refreshing to see that some airlines had provided the cosmetics in larger sizes, instead of the standard sample size, making them useful long after the journey is over. It is the little details like this that can make airlines stand out in a very competitive market. TravelPlus recently spoke to the founder of skincare company Air Repair, Denise Spanek who commented, “while it’s nice to have the prestigious well known brands included, it doesn’t help the traveller with their needs if they cannot use them to help get through their flight and beyond.”
Denise goes on to say “Some of the ‘basics’ that I believe women would love to have included are: an all-purpose salve that can be used on everything including lips, hands and cuticles, a rich, non-greasy moisturiser for all skin types and a facial mist that is loaded with moisturising properties and botanicals (not just water).”
Needless to say that the skincare industry is interested in having the thirsty, dehydrated skin on millions of airline passengers, quenched by their brands. It is also an opportunity for them to advertise their products to their most valued demographic – women with high expendable incomes, and a taste for the finer things in life. Most of the cosmetics found within in the kits are of a hydrating nature, showing airlines understand the problems that long haul air travel can cause for female skin.
Denise, however, expresses her concern about the content of some of the cosmetics offered within the bags, “many of the products are loaded with perfumes, parabens, petroleum and mineral oils which can be irritants when applied to compromised skin, and can cause irritation and allergic reactions.” Not ideal when you are hoping to arrive at a destination looking and feeling your best.
However, a few airlines are starting to respond to this concern, and are offering their female passengers more niche “natural” products and aromatherapy brands which provide energizing lotions, cleansing foam, moisturizing emulsion.
Actress, Model and Frequent flyer, Louise Linton, told TravelPlus in a recent interview, “Facial cleansing wipes along with facial, hand and lip moisturisers” are necessities on her regular long haul flights between Scotland and LA and she depends on the contents of the amenity kit to keep her feeling her best, so she can ‘hit the ground running’ with her busy work schedule when she arrives at her destination.
As an avid traveller and licensed aesthetician Denise commented “most airlines are not yet incorporating specialised products such as Air Repair as standard” and feels that more Airlines should be embracing new market trends, and seeking naturally inspired and effective products, rather than “purely focus on big name or prestigious brands.” However, many female passengers are pleased with the products that are on offer, and with some airlines focusing on good skincare, it possibly won’t be long until luxury brands, and natural products are combined.
So it appears that in the pursuit to fight the main signs of travel fatigue, including dryness, dehydration, redness, dullness and irritation, most of the Airlines are already providing the right types of hydration products for their passengers, whilst still managing to align themselves with high end luxury cosmetic brands. Although some of the products on offer may not suit every skin type, it appears airlines are already in tune with their most of their passenger’s needs.
Simon Ward Founder of the TravelPlus Airline Amenity Bag Awards comments that, “co-branding is good for the airline, good for the cosmetic brands and, most importantly, it is good for the high flying female passenger.’’